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April and May at MoMI: Composer Carter Burwell with Fargo, the films of David Lebrun, Hiroshi Shimizu retrospective, and more

APRIL 8, 2024

A black-and-white image from the 1930s of young Japanese boys dressed in school uniforms and caps standing amidst a sun-dappled field of wheat
Four Seasons of Children: Spring/Summer © 1939 Shochiku Co., Ltd.

Last Thursday, we announced a momentous program: a two-part retrospective of master Japanese filmmaker Hiroshi Shimizu to be presented in collaboration with Japan Society, National Film Archive of Japan, and the Japan Foundation, New York. Running from May 4–June 1, this will be the first New York survey of the major, yet often overlooked filmmaker in more than 30 years and the largest ever assembled in North America—featuring rare, imported archival 35mm prints; live piano accompaniment; and newly commissioned subtitles. Don't miss this opportunity to discover (or perhaps rediscover) one of the great directors of Japan's golden age, a contemporary of Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. Tickets are on sale now for Part I: The Shochiku Years, May 4–19 at MoMI.

This April, the Museum will present a three-part film series featuring the work of experimental filmmaker David Lebrun; puts James Cameron’s restored and newly remastered The Abyss: Special Edition on the big screen; welcomes composer Carter Burwell to the stage for a career conversation alongside a screening of the Coen brothers’ Fargo; and partners with the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival, the Orphan Film Symposium, and the Queens World Film Festival.

In exciting news, our Auriea Harvey exhibition is continuing to receive accolades: “Highly recommended . . . Don’t walk, but run to see this immersive survey of art by digital artist and sculptor Auriea Harvey at an institution that seems well-suited to her multimedia sensibilities,” writes Hrag Vartanian in Hyperallergic!

Please note: during spring recess for NYC public schools, the Museum will be open daily, April 22–26, 12:00–6:00 p.m. with drop-in media-making activities in the Media Game Lab (included with Museum admission). Plus, for those between ages 13–19, apply by April 11 to participate in a free three-day Mini-Game Retro Jam that takes place April 23–25.

A full April 2024 schedule can be viewed online here and summarized below (note: schedule may change or be updated without notice).

Upcoming this month:

New York Arab Festival Shorts Program
Sunday, April 14, 1:30 p.m.
From magical realism to sharp critiques of the present, these short films invite us into the alluring world of contemporary Arab cinema, an industry as diverse as the 22 countries that make up the Arab world. The screening program will be followed by a panel discussion about Arab representation in cinema today.

Screening of Q followed by prerecorded Q&A with director Jude Chehab 
Sunday, April 14, 5:00 p.m.
An intimate and haunting portrayal of the quest for love and acceptance at any cost, Chehab's documentary potently depicts a secretive matriarchal religious order’s insidious influence on three generations of women in her family in Lebanon. Part of Infinite Beauty: Muslim and MENASA Identity Onscreen

Carter Burwell on Fargo
Sunday, April 14, 5:00 p.m.
The brilliant composer Carter Burwell always brings intelligence, restraint, and inventiveness to his varied projects, including scoring Joel and Ethan Coen's films. Burwell will discuss his illustrious career in a conversation following a screening of the Oscar-winning crime comedy Fargo, moderated by Art & Craft series curator David Schwartz.

The Sweet East
April 19 & 20
Nothing is sacred in the knockabout 2023 feature directorial debut of acclaimed cinematographer Sean Price Williams and critic-turned-screenwriter Nick Pinkerton, which follows a confident yet befuddled teenager named Lillian (Talia Ryder) as she traces a winding, surreal path across the Eastern seaboard after abandoning her high school trip in Washington D.C. Presented in 35mm.

David Lebrun: Looking Back, Moving Forward
April 19–20
For nearly six decades, filmmaker David Lebrun has produced work that encompasses a variety of genres from experimental animation to documentary, informed by his background in anthropology, as well as his interest in psychedelia, spirituality, and philosophy. MoMI welcomes Lebrun for a three-part program of screenings and conversation. Part of Persistent Visions, programmed by Edo Choi and Becca Keating.

Sunday, April 21, 3:00 p.m.
The Hellenic Film Society USA presents the 2018 basketball drama directed by Tassos Boulmetis, which captured the epic 1968 basketball game between Greek team AEK and Slavia Prague gave Greece its first European Cup against all odds. Part of Always on Sunday: Greek Film Series

Common Enemy, NYC premiere and discussion
Sunday, Apr 21, 2024, 1:00 p.m.
Organized by the Museum’s 2023–24 Teen Council, MoMI presents the New York City premiere of The Humane League documentary Common Enemy. The film examines individuals affected by corporate animal agriculture, including the mental and physical toll taken on workers on a pig farm; the Cherokee activist Pam Kingfisher and her fight to take back tribal lands; and the dedicated people devoted to rehabilitating animals abused on mega-farms. Screening followed by discussion with special guests.

About Thirty (Arturo a los 30)
With director Martín Shanly and actress Camila Dougall in person
Sunday, April 21, 6:00 p.m.
One of the “best undistributed films of 2023” (Film Comment) and winner of the Best Argentine Director and Audience Awards at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), Shanly’s second feature is a witty comedy of errors about Arturo (played by the director himself), who, on the way to the wedding party of his former best friend, is involved in a bizarre car accident. Part of Las Premieres, co-presented with Cinema Tropical.

Science on Screen: Shorts on Attention
With historian of science D. Graham Burnett and filmmakers William Wiebe and Sheri Wills in person
Friday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.
Join us for a program of short films that explore the myriad ways our attention can be focused or unfocused by the moving image followed by a conversation that will consider how the sciences of human attention have given shape to the sensory experience of the 21st century. Films include: Melting (Thom Andersen, 1965), Fixation (William Wiebe, 2024), Iris (Sheri Wills, 2023), Annea Lockwood / A Film About Listening (Sam Green, 2021), and Grosse Fatigue (Camille Henrot, 2013).

I Need You Dead!
With director Rocko Zevenbergen in person
Saturday, April 27, 5:30 p.m.
Dir. Rocko Zevenbergen. 2020, 107 mins. U.S. After a moment of total teenage angst, a young punk finds himself at odds with a psychedelic monster of his own creation. The Bad Taste Video Team’s debut feature is a psychedelic romp and a microbudget masterpiece that manifests depression as a wise-cracking ball of flesh. Part of Disreputable Cinema.